British Airways is launching the only direct flight between London and Santiago in Chile from January 3, 2017. Santiago will become the airline’s lengthiest long-haul route, taking 14 hours 40 minutes, nearly an hour more than the current longest flight of 13 hours 50 minutes service to Buenos Aires.
The four-a-week flight will be served by the airline’s newest aircraft, the four-cabin Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, complete with a new First cabin.
Santiago will be the latest destination in Latin America to join British Airways’ route network. The airline recently launched new services to San Jose in Costa Rica and Lima in Peru. In addition, it also operates flight to Rio and Sao Paulo in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina.
According to Chile's Tourism Office, the number of British tourists in 2015 was above 46.000 with a 3.6% increase over the previous year.
Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways said: “In recent years we have been increasing our services to South and Central America reflecting the area’s continued growth in both business and tourism. This year we’ve already launched flights to Costa Rica and Peru, and the addition of Santiago will secure another important link between the UK and the region.
“The Chilean economy has been steadily growing, with increasing trade links to Europe so this new direct route will respond to the need for travel between the two Capital cities to do business face-to-face.”
“Equally, Chile is of enormous appeal to leisure travelers, especially those looking for adventure, exploration and experiences, thanks to its outstanding and diverse natural beauty and attractions and its great food and wine.”
British Airways is taking delivery of 21 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, five of which arrived in 2015 and 11 of which will arrive this year. The final five will be delivered during 2018.
They feature a new First cabin, thanks to the fact the 787-9 is 20ft longer than the 787-8. The cabin is a very private eight-suite space, with four additional storage areas around each seat, including an ottoman, a personal suiter, a locker for small personal effects and a device stowage space complete with device powering capability.
In-flight entertainment is shown on a 23-inch fixed screen and a smart ‘jog-dial’, manages the seat’s recline, headrest and lumbar inflate and a ‘global’ lighting control to set both ambient and reading lighting.